how long does the transmission take place?

Credit: AFP/Archives

The return of the increase in cases of Covid-19 has raised new doubts about the disease and the transmission of the virus (Credit: AFP/Arquivos)

The return of the increase in cases of Covid-19 has raised new doubts about the disease and the transmission of the virus. After vaccination and the suspension of the mandatory use of masks, people question whether there are changes in relation to infection and symptoms of the disease. The doctor and CEO of MKM Biotech, Carlos Zago, clarifies some doubts:

1.How long does the Covid virus stay in the body? Is it different for some people?

Overall, the Covid-19 virus can stay in the body for 2 to 14 days. This is the interval for the immune system to respond to the presence of the virus, leading to symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, chills, body aches, headache or throat, nasal congestion, loss of smell and taste, nausea and diarrhea.

For most people, symptoms are mild to moderate, approximately 8 out of 10 cases. Others develop a more severe form. The factors that lead to more severe conditions are not fully known, but there are some that are well described, such as advanced age, presence of comorbidities and immunosuppression.

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2. During which period is the virus transmitted?

The period varies for each person and depends on the severity of symptoms they develop. In children and adults with mild symptoms, transmission drops significantly after the fifth day of symptoms. If the person has no symptoms, the fifth day should be counted from the first positive test.

People with moderate and severe symptoms can transmit the virus for about 10 to 20 days after symptoms begin.

Already immunosuppressed can also transmit for 20 days or more. In these cases, the evaluation of a specialist doctor is necessary to determine the safety of ending the isolation.

It is worth noting that once recovered from symptoms, samples of the coronavirus can be detected in the respiratory tract for up to 3 months. However, they do not have the ability to replicate and hardly cause new infections.

3.And for those who have already had the disease, what changes?

Each person responds differently. It is known that new variants such as Ômicron have a greater ability to infect people who are immunized or who have had a previous infection.

However, there is a tendency, in these cases, for these people to develop milder symptoms. Obviously, risk groups are more likely to develop severe forms, even in a reinfection.

4.What is the guidance for those who have already taken the vaccine?

The vaccine has the role of preparing the immune system to emerge victorious in a fight against the virus. This does not mean that the virus will stop coming into contact with our body, that is, the disease can develop and even cause symptoms, but the body will be able to fight it faster and more effectively, avoiding more severe forms.

5. In case of symptoms, which test should I do?

Each test has a purpose. Tests that detect the presence of virus DNA (RT-PCR) are the most sensitive, but require a laboratory structure to be carried out. Because of this, in the event of an outbreak, the large number of tests can take days to deliver the results, something that is very frustrating for most patients.

Rapid or antigen tests identify components of the virus membrane and, although they do not have the same degree of precision, they can be performed practically anywhere (observing hygiene measures), allowing rapid diagnosis and isolation. So each exam has its value to help us fight Covid-19.

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